Netgear Looks to Rack Up Small Business Storage

Businesses of all sizes have more data in more places these days. Planning a strategy that ensures that digital information is safely stored, easily available and regularly backed up is something small businesses ignore at their own peril.

Hoping to sell small businesses on a modular approach, Netgear, a familiar name to many small business owners and home office workers, has announced the latest version of its ReadyNAS product. The 2100 is a 1U 4-bay storage rackmount system that’s designed to let small businesses share, store and protect business-critical files across local and wide-area networks, guard against disk failures and grow capacity as needed.

The ReadyNAS 2100 offers the features found in ReadyNAS NVX 4-bay desktop model but in a design that includes the system board, power supply and cooling fans packaged into a 1U system.

ReadyNAS 2100
The ReadyNAS 2100 is IU rackmount storage device that holds up to four SATA drives.

Drew Meyer, director of SMB storage at Netgear, said the ReadyNAS 2100, is two times faster the previous version of the product (the ReadyNAS 1100) thanks largely to the use of an Intel storage-specific embedded processor, which results in 70MB/s read/write performance.

The most interesting aspect of Netgear’s announcement is what Meyer describes as a drag-and-drop interface for remote access. ReadyNAS Remote is now built in to all ReadyNAS systems. In what promises to be a help for small or non-existent IT departments, Meyer said the remote access doesn’t require a VPN connection or firewall configuration. Rather Netgear partners with Leaf Networks to set up the secure connection in the background. The service also features continuous data protection software for backup, according to the company.

According to Netgear, the ReadyNAS 2100 supports mixed-client environments (Windows Linux, Unix and Mac), entry-level server and desktop virtualization, and cross-platform file sharing. Netgear offers support for NAS and an iSCSI SAN for Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac systems. The ReadyNAS RAIDiator operating system supports the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), allowing the ReadyNAS 2100 to use native Mac files as well as Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard. Netgear claims that with ReadyNAS RAIDiator, Mac users can use Time Machine to back up multiple Macs to a single location.

To help ease archival and disaster recovery operations, the embedded ReadyNAS Vault service is designed to automate backup and restore by moving multiple archive copies to an Internet data center where it can be recovered from any Web browser in case of disaster.

Three models of the ReadyNAS 2100 will be available in early June, according to Netgear. The 2TB unit costs $1,899, the 4TB costs $2,299, and the 8TB version costs $3,299.

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